Use this delicious porridge recipe to bring a taste of authentic Scottish porridge to your breakfast table!
The Scots have been enjoying their porridge for centuries, and rightly so.
Made from oats (which are one of the few grains that grow well in Scotlands' climate), Scottish porridge is tasty AND nutritious, and is packed full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
As part of a healthy diet, it's a great way to help reduce cholesterol, and the slow-release carbs mean it keeps you full (and full of energy) until lunchtime.
Historically there are a few traditions and superstitions connected with the making, and eating, of this dish in Scotland.
Here is some 'Porridge Trivia' for you...
The humble porridge has even been immortalized in print!
The famous Scottish Bard, Robert Burns described it this way...
The most important ingredient in this porridge recipe is the oats themselves. Pin Head, steel-cut oats are the best choice, followed by premium quality rolled oats.
The more processed or 'quick cook' oats don't make for a porridge of the same quality, but are quick and simple to use if you're in a big hurry.
See the two types of traditional oats that are of superior quality here.
The ingredients of an authentic Scottish porridge recipe are ridiculously simple :)
I've included the original British Imperial measurements that my nana (she was the recipe Queen in our home) used, and then converted those to the current British metric system.
If you're in the USA you'll also find the US measurement equivalents listed below.
3.5 oz (100g) Pinhead Oatmeal
1 1/2 Pints Water (milk or a milk/water mix can be used if you prefer)
Generous pinch of Salt
1 1/2 Cups Pinhead Oatmeal
3 1/2 Cups Water (or alternatives as above)
Generous pinch of Salt
Put water in heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil on high heat.
Reduce to medium heat and sprinkle oats on top and stir into water - (doing it this way helps reduce the risk of your porridge getting lumpy).
people don't have a Spirtle, using a wooden spoon works just fine!
Bring back to the boil over medium heat, stirring continuously.
Then reduce to low heat, cover with lid and let simmer for around 20 - 30 minutes. Add salt and stir into porridge about half-way through.
And don't forget to stir the porridge every few minutes to stop it sticking and prevent lumps.
Although tradition says only stir clockwise, stirring in both directions does have advantages in the 'de-lumping' process.
In this porridge recipe, the cooking time can be varied a bit, depending on how thick and creamy you want your porridge to be.
Shorter cooking time will make for a thinner porridge with a more chewy texture. Longer cooking will make a thicker, creamier dish.
Don't overdo it though, or you'll end up with a very 'stodgy' meal.
I like my porridge thin enough that it pours slowly from the pan, definitely not watery or 'gruel' like.
You can sprinkle a little more salt on top if you like (and you don't have high blood pressure or a controlled diet).
Then either pour cold milk, or cream, on top to taste.
If you want the whole Scottish experience, try pouring cream into a separate bowl and dip your spoonfuls of porridge into it one at a time. It'll take longer that way, but is really good!